The Supreme Court on Monday, 14 February, allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the suicide case of a 17-year-old girl in Thanjavur, issuing a notice on a plea by Tamil Nadu Director General of Police (DGP) challenging the Madras HC order.
The Tamil Nadu government on 3 February had moved the apex court challenging the Madras HC's (Madurai Bench) order directing a CBI probe into the death of the 17-year-old student amid allegations of conversion.
The Tamil Nadu government, through the DGP, challenged the validity of the order passed by a single judge bench of the high court's Madurai bench.
Parents Allege 'Conversion Attempt' Behind TN Girl’s Suicide, Demand CB-CID Probe
The case was heard by the Bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Bela M Trivedi.
Senior Advocate P Wilson, appearing for the State of Tamil Nadu, meanwhile, said that the HC bench had “overstepped” its jurisdiction by ordering the CBI probe, as it only has jurisdiction to deal with state police investigation. He argued that there was no reason for the case to be handed over to the central agency.
The Madurai bench of the high court had transferred the suicide case of the a Class 12 student who died on 19 January, to the CBI on 31 January.
A bench comprising Justice GS Swaminathan passed the orders after hearing a plea by the father of the deceased seeking a probe by a central agency into his daughter’s death.
The Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) state unit and the students' parents have alleged that she was allegedly under pressure to convert to Christianity,
The allegation is based on a video that has surfaced, in which the 17-year-old is heard accusing the hostel warden of scolding her, forcing her to clean rooms in the hostel, and asking her parents to allow her to convert.
In the investigation so far, Tamil Nadu police has found discrepancies in the allegation of “forced conversion” and several inconsistencies in the videos, submitted as evidence.
The video was submitted to the police 24 hours after the death of the girl. The controversial videos, which the BJP campaign had shared were shot by Muthuvel, the district secretary of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in Ariyalur. The police had told the court that he had refused to cooperate with the investigation.
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